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Exercise Linked to Lower Risk for Crohn's Disease — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
November 18, 2013

Exercise Linked to Lower Risk for Crohn's Disease

By Kelly Young

Higher levels of physical activity in women are associated with reduced risk for Crohn's disease, but not ulcerative colitis, according to a BMJ study.

As part of the Nurses' Health Study, researchers followed nearly 200,000 women for up to 26 years. Nearly 300 developed Crohn's, and over 350 developed ulcerative colitis.

After adjustment for known risk factors, women in the highest quintile of self-reported physical activity were at reduced risk for Crohn's, relative to the lowest quintile (hazard ratio, 0.64). There was no association between physical activity and ulcerative colitis.

Previous studies have found that exercise may decrease inflammation and affect a patient's innate immunity, the authors note. They conclude that their findings "may lead to lifestyle interventions among subgroups with known genetic risk factors for Crohn's disease to modify the risk of disease or among patients with established disease to limit its progression."

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